• Fine Printed Books and Manuscr auction at Christies

    Sale 2361

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    3 December 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 91

    [LINCOLN. Mary Todd]. A mantle clock of black composition stone, with incised decoration, with legs, finials and fittings in gilt brass, by Jausions of Pau, France. Owned by Mary Todd Lincoln (almost certainly purchased between 1876 and 1878).

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    [LINCOLN. Mary Todd]. A mantle clock of black composition stone, with incised decoration, with legs, finials and fittings in gilt brass, by Jausions of Pau, France. Owned by Mary Todd Lincoln (almost certainly purchased between 1876 and 1878).

    In two sections, overall 12¾ x 8¼ x 5¼ inches. Black composition stone, vertical areas of front with incised and gilt decorations, the clock face under glass, with gilded roman numerals, maker's label "Jausions Pau," gilt brass sculptural cherub heads on sides, gilt brass decorations and elaborate finial at top, brass claw feet, hinged circular door on backside, the mechanism intact but non-operable.

    A VICTORIAN MANTLE CLOCK FROM MARY TODD'S RESIDENCE IN FRANCE. After her release from the sanatorium where she had been confined (1875-1876), Mary left the U.S. and in December 1876 established a residence in Pau, France, a popular health resort in the Pyrenees, where she hoped the cool, clear air might be beneficial to her declining health. Living off her modest investments, her government pension and the rental of her Chicago property, she spent nearly four years in Pau, as well documented in her letters from this period (see Mary Todd Lincoln: Her Life and Letters, ed. Justin G Turner and Linda L. Turner). In decorating her rented apartment, Mary purchased this finely made mantle clock from a local clock- and watch-maker, Jausions. The clock's striking black clock face and black case may have suited her virtually unrelieved mourning and matched gold and onyx mourning jewelry she is known to have worn.




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